Gibson L-00 ca 1932
Gibson L-00 1932 | $3950 | (vbg1610) The lightly built and responsive Gibson L-0/L-00 series of flat tops guitars has been a favorite of ours for decades. Having owned a good many of them over the years, we've been intrigued by the development of the line from the early 30s through the early 1940s. It's clear to us that the early incarnations, like this example, are the superior tone machines. Two major reasons being the placement of the bridge, and the lightness of the build.
This a solid, original example of the earliest incarnation of the 'large body' L guitars. These early models, from late '31 through early '32, are identified by the thin ebony fingerboard with a thin veneer of maple sandwiched between the board and the neck. This board is a bit thinner than the L-00s found with rosewood boards, and it shares this thin board with its ultra-light cousin, the Kel Kroyden. All the 12-fret L-series flat tops (and the Kel) share the same bridge placement, which was compromised when Gibson moved the bridge 'north' to gain a 14-fret neck, thereby removing the bridge from the 'sweet spot' of the top. This fact, coupled with the ultra light bracing of this time period, make for a lightly built guitar very responsive to the players touch.
This example is ink-stamped with FON 263 on the heel block. The body is mahogany, with a spruce top. The neck is mahogany and the fingerboard is ebony. The bridge is Brazilian rosewood, rounded at the back like some other early examples we've seen and owned, and is original to the guitar. The brass tuners are original. The entire body and neck are finished in black with a white pick guard, white celluloid top binding and white 'Gibson' on the head stock. This black/white combo ranks among the snappiest of Gibson's offerings, and has gained the moniker 'tuxedo' for its somewhat formal look.
The guitar has had a recent neck set, with action set at a slinky 5/64". The frets and fingerboard show some wear in the lower position and there is a good bit of play wear on the back of the neck with some capo rash. The top also shows play wear, has had a pick guard crack repaired and a small chip was glued along the lower edge of the sound hole. Several brace tips were glued on the top and the back. Back and sides appear crack free, and show some nicks and dings from use.
These early Gibsons have a very comfortable and modern-feeling 'C' carve to the neck profile. Coupled with low action, the guitar plays effortlessly. The sound produced is among the best we've experienced from an 'L' large body .. big, open and sustaining, and the lightest touch can really get it going, but not in a boomy, muddy way. The perfect finger picking guitar.
Comes with a new hard case.